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2 Prospects On Canadian Short List

by Staff Writer / San Jose Sharks
When Team Canada heads to camp for the 2006 World Junior Championships, San Jose will be represented by two players.

Right wing Devin Setoguchi, San Jose’s first round pick in 2005 (eighth overall) and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic, a second round selection in 2005 (35th overall) are both currently Team Canada’s radar. Setoguchi was recently named the Western Hockey League Player of the Month for November.

“Devin’s done well on national teams before in his age group and Vlasic has been really solid with good offensive output,” said Sharks Director of Amateur Scouting Tim Burke. “We watched them both recently and they deserved the opportunity.”

Canada only had a couple of returnees from last year’s competition, so the battle for roster spots is wide open.

Setoguchi’s coach, former Sharks Assistant Coach Lorne Molleken, likes his player’s chances.

“He’s played extremely well the last six weeks,” said Molleken. “He’s one of 32 kids starting December 11. Hopefully he’ll make it. That would be good for him.”

Normally when a player is cut in practice, it’s from the stick of an opponent or maybe a shot redirected by a teammate. In the case of Grant Stevenson on Tuesday’s morning skate, it was all him. He was following up his shot on Evgeni Nabokov when the puck bounced back and opened his forehead. Tape was applied so he could finish practice and stitches were planned for later.

“I shot it and it kicked right back and got me,” said Stevenson.

Stevenson will change from number 55 that he has had success with thus far to number 37, most recently worn by Curtis Brown during the 2003-04 playoff run.

“Fifty-five was just the number they gave me in camp,” said Stevenson. “Thirty-seven is a little different. I wore 39 in Cleveland my first year and 19 in college.”

Tuesday night, defenseman Doug Murray will be making his HP Pavilion debut along with the more celebrated Joe Thornton.

“I’m just going to try and keep the adrenaline under control and play hard the same way I did in Buffalo,” said Murray. “Obviously, it will be fun playing in front of our crowd in a packed building.”
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